After a sell-out event during Horizon Festival 2018, former UK slam champion and change-maker, Joelle Taylor will return to the Sunshine Coast as a part of Bunker Down, Speak Out on March 6 and 7.

Presented by The Bunker Collective and Horizon Festival, Bunker Down, Speak Out is a new quarterly event that provides a platform for local poets and writers to perform their work and an opportunity for newcomers to begin their own journey with the genre.

Direct from Adelaide Writer’s Week, Joelle will perform a range of works including those from her new release collection, Songs My Enemy Taught Me.

Joelle is a powerhouse performer on stage and echoes that strength as an educator in her uniquely crafted workshops.

Don’t miss this fantastic opportunity to learn from the best and give it a try yourself, book now for a workshop with Joelle and register for the open mic night.

Spoken Word Workshop with Joelle Taylor

Designed for emerging and established performance poets and writers, this is an exciting opportunity to learn from one of the world’s best.

Date: Wednesday, March 6
Time: 6-8pm
Location: SunCentral building (downstairs), 9 Golf Street, Maroochydore
Tickets: GA $45, plus booking fee, Conc $35, plus booking fee

Bunker Down, Speak Out – Open Mic Night

Come along and see UK slam champ Joelle Taylor take the stage alongside home-grown local spoken word talent. This is a one-off performance not to be missed.  

Date: Thursday, March 7
Time: 7pm
Location: Solbar, Maroochydore
Tickets: $15, plus booking fee pre-sale, $20 on the door / free for open mic performers 

Open Mic Registration 
We love seeing our locals up on stage! Register to perform at the open mic night for a chance to win a cash prize, plus the kudos of performing alongside Joelle Taylor.

Get tickets and register for the open mic night at www.horizonfestival.com.au/thebunker

Bunker Down, Speak Out is funded by the Regional Arts Development Fund, a partnership between the Queensland Government and Sunshine Coast Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

A salty tale that inspires a new generation…

Award-winning Gold Coast author, Benjamin Allmon and Bundjalung-Yugambeh canoe maker, Kyle Slabb have collaborated with renowned photographer David Kelly and former ABC producer and filmmaker Jeff Licence to document their epic 70km three-day sea journey that follows an ancient First Nations maritime trade route in traditional canoes. This treacherous sea voyage has connected the Goories or Saltwater People across the water from the Gold Coast to North Stradbroke Island for thousands of years.

The Saltwater Story documents Benjamin’s passage into a piece of First Nations culture that is rarely offered to someone outside of the Bundjalung/Yugambeh people. This voyage with Kyle and his family has resulted in a stunning documentary, a beautiful coffee table book, and an exhibition that launched in May at HOTA, Home of the Arts on the Gold Coast.

The inclusion of a unique group of young Bundjalung, Yugambeh and Quandamooka men in this project provides viewers with a rare insight into a rite of passage for the next generation. The result is a story of connection, collaboration and cooperation – not just between the Bundjalung-Yugambeh people and the Quandamooka people, but between generations, between black and white, between land, sky and sea. It is also a story of continuance – of ancient knowledge now held by just a few being passed to the elders of tomorrow.

A Voyage of Discovery

Producer and writer, Benjamin Allmon says: ‘This project has been the last four years of my life. Not long after becoming a Dad I realised that if my son asked me one day about the Indigenous history of the Gold Coast, I wouldn’t know what to say. So, I decided to find out. The book starts with this realisation, and goes from there, through years of research, to meeting Kyle, to making the traditional canoes together and then paddling them together. 

It follows how personally difficult reconciling the two cultures within a project is… and ultimately how rewarding. I am immensely proud that we made the canoes, and that I got to paddle the three-day journey alongside the next generation of Saltwater men… I am deeply and permanently changed by the experience, and I now have a story to tell my son – The Saltwater Story.’

The story tells of three brothers who arrived by sea in a canoe, establishing fresh water sites, tribal laws, bora rings and traditional knowledge for generations to come.

The Saltwater Story is a true collaboration utilising First Nations locations, government assistance and collaborators from across Australia to engage both the non-First Nation and First Nation communities to ensure this knowledge is transmitted to the next generation.

The book, e-book and DVD can be purchased at: http://www.benjaminallmon.com/product/the-saltwater-story/

Keep an eye out for future screenings of The Saltwater Story later in the year.

Our hero’s name is Sarah Kanake and she is an author from Gympie. Her debut novel, Sing Fox To Me, was published earlier this year. An Australian Gothic tale set in Tasmania.It’s the story of twin brothers who leave Queensland to live with the grandfather they’ve never met in Tasmania. One brother isJonah, an ominous, angry boy who develops a dark obsession with the mysteries of his surroundings. The other twin, Samson, has Down-Syndrome and finds delight and fascination with the mountain. Their grandfather, Clancy has become a broken man since his daughter, River Fox, disappeared. Yet he is determined to bring her home. Each character is lost in their own way and there’s something about the surrounding bush…something which can’t quite be explained.
Sarah picks up another assignment but finds it hard to focus. Something that has been burrowed in her mind is scratching its way to the surface. She has an interview coming up. A student of hers writes for a local magazine and asked if she would like to be the subject of an article. She asked if he was a journalist.
‘Well…no. Not as such.’
She decided it best not to inquire what that meant exactly, instead agreeing to the interview. What’s the worst that could happen? Sure, this student was a bit of a weirdo, but if she wanted a weirdo-free world, she’d have to cut a lot of people out of her life. What’s important is that this guy isn’t dangerous. Probably. All she knows is, that he’s from Gympie, like her, wants to be a writer, like her, and reads a lot… like her. She finds it difficult to predict what this student will write though. To calm herself, she thinks about her novel, about the answers she can give to whatever questions this ‘journalist’ plans to ask.
Setting plays a vital role in Gothic fiction. When people think of ‘the Gothic’, what comes to mind are castles before anight sky.They think of foggy moors where gloomy yet irresistible loners tend to wander. Or they think of black-haired teenagers writing poetry while listening to The Cure. In Australian Gothic fiction, the unknown elements of the environment are heightened. Weird stuff happens. People go for a walk and have a habit of not coming back.Gothic stories are about finding the unfamiliar in the familiar. They’re about revealing the mysteries of our environment; about asking questions which are never quite answered. In Sing Fox To Me, the setting is the evocative Tasmania forest on Tiger Mountain.Jonah, Samson and Clancy spend much time wandering through the forest, discovering things about the mountain, and themselves.
Sarah grew up in somewhere quite different. Her environment was wide open, hot and dense with bushland. That part of Queensland which isn’t the postcard-ready beaches but not quite the outback either. It was the perfect, quiet environment to become obsessed with reading. Sarah was already reading novels before she started school and her love affair with books only grew from there. Since returning to Queensland, she’s been blown away by the artistic community that has grown on the coast. Everything from the numerous Independent Bookstores, to events like Outspoken, and the work produced by her students encouraging the blossoming creativity of the community. There was something about leaving the Sunshine Coast that made her discover so much more about it when she returned.
As she leaves her office, she decides to be optimistic about this article. If nothing else, it will hopefully let readers know that her novel, Sing Fox To Meis available in all good book shops and that they should buy it immediately. She also hopes the writer is at least subtle when it comes to plugging her book.
It’s summer break and instead of the usual hustle, the university is quiet and near deserted. Sure, the occasional academic can be found haunting the hallways and the sounds of summer students can be heard in the distance, but overall, the place is… different. Familiar yet, somehow not. The wildlife has taken advantage of the lack of students and have started to inhabit the university grounds more thoroughly. Kangaroos lounge on the grass, looking at passers-by with casual disinterest. Ducks waddle in lines through the undercover areas of the buildings. Each step Sarah takes echoes through the vacant landscape.
She arrives at the café and finds her interviewer already sitting there. His hair is a mess, as though it hasn’t heard of a comb, let alone seen one. His eyes have bags beneath them which underline his lack of sleep. He wears a black shirt and jeans despite it being 30 something degrees out. Our hero sits down and the questions flood through her mind. What is he going to write? What type of questions will he ask? She clears her throat.
‘So… what type of article is this going to be?’
The interviewer smiles and shrugs before reading the first question scrawled across his notepad.

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Logic

To argue this point I’m sure many of you reading this could say, the imagination has a big role into conjuring up allsorts of crazy things that don’t exists and one must and should keep this in check so not to loose your footing on the real world. That schools have taught us, that the imagination is a nuisance to the logical mind.

My argument with this, would be that we are all born with a great imagination and just the fact that over 100 years ago several professors decided the imagination had no use and has to be taught out of all children by the age of twelve because it gets in the way of an adult logical mind, something still taught in schools today, means that we have indeed given up a big part of ourselves to such individuals who I must ask, with what power to do so? Enforced such a huge program on all of us over our natural urge to trust our imagination and learn to use it to our advantage.

My Path

I myself took a different journey then most as I could see things that others couldn’t and many messages I was given, gave me important information about upcoming events. What I experienced was not in my mind but was actually very real for me. Once I had I accepted this as an authentic part of myself, I decided to find out more about myself and also what was our true human potential. My findings were amazing but of an individual experience and not easily proved unless one took the same path as myself into asking the big questions. I would advice this to anyone wanting to know more as I believe it is in the questions we ask that leads us to empowering oneself.

Now for me to actually come clean about this ability, could be considered a scary thing, but in fact the more and more people I spoke to individually about my experiences, the more I found many others who are also experiencing things outside what’s considered the norm and that we are all slowly, but secretly realizing that there is way more to our reality then meets the eye.

Fact or Fiction?

So in getting back to fantasy, is it indeed fact or fiction? I am now converted back into knowing, like I did when I was very young, that it is indeed fact. Due to the many beings and other dimensional places I’ve seen.

As learning to use our natural gifts and imagination wisely, we could all claim a very valuable part of ourselves that holds the key to experiences outside this dimension, beings living in other frequencies, energies beyond our norm and valuable abilities within ourselves that we all have the ability to be apart of.

Books

For this reason I have written and illustrated two children’s books, one as a picture book called Imagine Holding Hands, created to open the imagination and connect us to more then we thought possible. The other is a novel written as a fantasy but created to open minds into unlimited potential called Jonar & Kitty – The Timekeepers Void.

Written for children but read by many adults, due to the context taking one past the normal educational system.

Now available as ibook or ebooks via Amazon or as a hard copy just order at any book shop Australia wide.

Published by A&A Book Publishing Pty Ltd – Distribution by Dennis Jones & Associates

www.bobbierichardson.com.au

 

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The subject matter, especially the first two regrets, resonated so powerfully with my wife, Jo and I (49 and 63 years old) that we’ve decided to change our lives before it’s too late.
Regret 1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
Regret 2: I wish I didn’t work so hard.
***
I have had a love affair with words, written, spoken and sung, from a very early age. I took a 30-year hiatus as I attended to my careers and family. I returned to writing and performing poetry after my divorce in 1998. Twenty years of real estate and three bouts of depression later, I sold my agency in 2006 to pursue my creative dreams at the age of 53. I was fortunate to have the support of Jodie who worked as a nurse educator and then nurse practitioner while I gained a creative writing degree and performed my poetry and storytelling at major festivals and other venues throughout Australia. Now it’s her turn.
Jodie’s always had an aptitude for art, but was discouraged by her high school art teacher’s opinion of her work as ‘too cute’. In her early 20s, a chance tour with famous illustrator Alan Lee (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Faeries with Brian Froud) of his barn studio in Devon validated her passion for fantasy and folklore. She renewed sculpting and drawing her favourite subjects. For the next quarter-century she learned and honed a range of skills.
Her current focus is on pencil portraits. At the beginning of the year, she tentatively asked on Facebook if anyone wanted her to do a portrait for them. She received 20 commissions before the end of the day, but because she works full-time, only does one every few weeks. What she can do with blocks of femo—the plasticised clay—and paintbrush and pencil is the stuff of fantasy. She was always ahead of the trends; steampunk, owls, foxes. She always knew what was coming. She’s worked her way up the nursing ladder; from private care of aging British lords in English country manors, to remote aboriginal settlements on the Gulf of Carpentaria, to nurse practitioner at Nambour Hospital and project management for the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital. Experienced and highly proficient as she is, stress is ever present and takes its toll.
The Turning Point, The Plan and The Leap
Time, health and willpower run out eventually, and windows of opportunity to make dreams come true close with age and infirmity. Jodie wants to spend more time with our 11-year-old daughter Ella before she leaves home. In October this year, Jodie quit the high-powered career and took a well-earned break. She has a two-day position as a nurse practitioner to return to, and I am a sessional academic at the University of the Sunshine Coast.There is a base level of income to pay most bills, but nothing for frills. We have a little house on the Range at Mapleton with a modest ocean view and a lovely studio we made in our beautiful garden. The plan is to combine our successful career experiences and well-honed skills to create and sell our creativity from home via the Internet and other avenues. We have no delusions; according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average annual income for a professional writer is $12,480. Artists are similarly poorly paid. This does not encourage someone to leave a well-paid job. It will require brains, application and teamwork, but our skillsets and combined experience should stand us in good stead.
There is still a degree of trepidation of course, but leaps into the unknown are sometimes the lesser of the two evils, despite the fear. Most people have a dream life tucked away, but choose the ‘safe’ option. We all have a ‘What if?’ or ‘If only’ as demonstrated by Bronnie Ware’s ‘Regret 1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself.’
The Partnership
We’re both creative on a number of levels; with a combination of excellent presentation skills, sales and promotional acumen, and very high professional standards with proven work ethics. Jodie’s far more organised, efficient and disciplined than I am, and I’m more entrepreneurial. If we utilise our skills cooperatively, we can succeed at our new venture.
My contribution will consist of freelance writing and editing, writing novels and eBooks, running school poetry, writing and performance workshops, writing programs through libraries, and fees for performance poetry and storytelling at festivals and other venues.
Jodie’s will be to produce drawings, paintings, and portraits, some of which can be used to produce prints to sell online or via markets. She can also run various artistic workshops in her garden studio, an enterprise for which she’s perfectly suited.
***
So, here I sit writing this story for Pastiche, for which I’ll receive a small payment. Well-paid Woodford gigs are coming up, and there’s an eBook to publish and a first novel to complete. After Christmas, we formulate the business plan that we’ll put into practice next year. The goal is to see if we can make the dream a reality.We want to live a life true to ourselves, rather than one daywonder what might have been if only we’d had the courage to take the leap.
No regrets.

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 May this journey inspire you to find your way back into the glorious light – which is your, my, our ultimate birthright. Sidonie Bouchet was born in France and lives in Maleny, Australia. Sidone has a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a background in editorial publishing. With a special interest in Nutrition, she began studying naturopathy in the early 1990s. Motherhood interrupted her studies and began her journey as a spiritual counsellor and workshop facilitator. She is a fully qualified reflexologist working extensively with the fascinating field of colour, and offers transformational guidance to help you reclaim lost aspects of yourself. Since 2000, she has been gathering lightworkers for ceremonial performances, including Woodford Folk Festival. Sidonie is the founder/writer of the popular facebook page Soul Sex, where she speaks her thoughts to over 266, 000 fans daily with the intention of sharing her discoveries and understandings back to wholeness. She is a presenter and workshop facilitator at festivals and expos, and a guest speaker on radio, television and teleseminars around the world. Sidonie offers  spiritual mentoring and healing sessions for those wanting to reconnect with their inner light. 

You can contact her at www.soletosoulsex.com

 

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Creativity, Community, Culture